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End the failed war on drugs and save lives

Figures released today showing 40 to 45 people have died due to synthetic cannabis since last June show the need for urgent cross-party work on sensible drug law reform, says the Green Party.

“The current approach based on prohibition and punishment is clearly not working,” says Green Party drug law reform spokesperson Chlöe Swarbrick. “The war on drugs is a failure.

“We need a strategy based on evidence and harm reduction, which supports people instead of forcing them into the shadows.

“That is why the Green Party have consistently called for a safe and regulated cannabis market, and for increased funding for alcohol and drug addiction services and ensuring drugs are treated as a health issue, including it in our confidence and supply agreement with Labour.

“We are also talking to every party in Parliament, because transforming our approach to drug and alcohol abuse and addiction needs a broad, constructive consensus. The solution must be sustainable, cohesive and work for every community.”

Work currently underway to improve drug laws includes the Government’s medicinal cannabis bill, and the referendum on recreational cannabis use agreed in the Labour-Green confidence and supply agreement.

A recent Drug Foundation survey found 67 percent of New Zealanders support drug law reform to allow "possessing a small amount of cannabis for personal use.”